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StartBookkeepingLiability: Definition, Accounting Reporting, & Types

Liability: Definition, Accounting Reporting, & Types

contingent liabilities

This account represents debts owed to vendors, utilities, and suppliers that have been purchased on Net terms or on credit. We will discuss more liabilities in depth later in the accounting course. As your business grows and you take on more debt, it becomes even more important to understand the difference between current and long-term liabilities in order to ensure that they’re recorded properly. The best way to track both assets and liabilities is by using accounting software, which will help categorize liabilities properly. However, even if you’re using a manual accounting system, you still need to record liabilities properly.

Analyzing long-term liabilities is done for assessing the likelihood the long-term liability’s terms will be met by the borrower. The two main categories of these are current liabilities and long-term liabilities. Current liabilities are reported first in the liability section of the balance sheet because they have first claim on company assets. After the declaration of the dividend, it becomes the record-date shareholder’s property and it is considered different from the stock. This gives room for the shareholders to become the company’s creditors, as a result of their dividend payment, in case a merger or some other corporate actions take place.


If one of the conditions is not satisfied, a company does not report a contingent liability on the balance sheet. However, it should disclose this item in a footnote on the financial statements. According to the accounting equation, the total amount of the liabilities must be equal to the difference between the total amount of the assets and the total amount of the equity. Some other common current liabilities include product warranties and contingent liabilities, such as pending lawsuits. These both require some estimating and judgment, as you’ll see on the following pages. Cash is not a liability Account.As against liability is the financial value of an obligation or debt payable by the business to another organization or person.

  • Accrued expenses are expenses that you’ve already incurred and need to account for in the current month, though they won’t be paid until the following month.
  • Many companies purchase inventory on credit from vendors or supplies.
  • Replacing loans with guaranteed loans can also reduce your interest rate.
  • This is to help guarantee that any debts or obligations your business has can get met.

Term DebtLong-term debt is the debt taken by the company that gets due or is payable after one year on the date of the balance sheet. It is recorded on the liabilities side of the company’s balance sheet as the non-current liability. Mortgage payable is the liability of a property owner to pay a loan. Essentially, mortgage payable is long-term financing used to purchase property. Mortgage payable is considered a long-term or noncurrent liability.

Who creates a balance sheet?

Your balance sheet reflects business expenses by drawing down your cash account or increasing accounts payable. An accrued dividend is a liability term accounting for dividends on common stock that have been declared but are yet unpaid to shareholders. They are treated in the books of account as a current liability from the declaration date and remain as such until the date of the dividend payment.


It is important to note that the interest that will be incurred by a company in the future from its use of existing debt is not an expense yet. Because of this, it is reported in the interest payable account until the period the company incurs the expense. Until that time, the future liability may be noted in the disclosures that come with the financial statements.

What are Equity and Liabilities?

This includes the total value of all of your assets minus all of your liabilities. Expenses and liabilities should not be confused with each other. One is listed on a company’s balance sheet, and the other is listed on the company’s income statement. Expenses are the costs of a company’s operation, while liabilities are the obligations and debts a company owes. Expenses can be paid immediately with cash, or the payment could be delayed which would create a liability.

What are the 3 types of liabilities?

Liabilities can be classified into three categories: current, non-current and contingent.

Accrued expenses, long-term loans, mortgages, and deferred taxes are just a few examples of noncurrent liabilities. A deferred tax liability refers to a listing on a company’s balance sheet that records taxes owed but is not due to be paid until a future date. These liabilities extend to future tax years and in this case, they are considered long-term liabilities. When it comes to considering your current liability and long-term debt in accounting, there are a few key things to remember.

As a small business owner, you’re going to incur different types of liabilities as you operate. It might be as simple as your electric bill, rent for your office or other types of business purchases. This represents any money you owe to vendors or suppliers for purchases made on credit. Liability accounts are sections of the company’s books that display its debt. A liability is a debt that a person or business has, typically in the form of money.

  • It is the liability account containing the amount owed to bondholders by the issuer/company.
  • The best way to track both assets and liabilities is by using accounting software, which will help categorize liabilities properly.
  • For example, in most cases, if a wine supplier sells a case of wine to a restaurant, it does not demand payment when it delivers the goods.
  • We will discuss more liabilities in depth later in the accounting course.
  • Expenses and liabilities are part of your ongoing business operations.

Both current and quick ratios are helpful in analyzing a company’s financial solvency as well as the management of its current liabilities. Noncurrent liabilities, or long-term liabilities, are debts that are not due within a year. List your long-term liabilities separately on your balance sheet.

Examples of Liability Accounts

A https://quick-bookkeeping.net/ tax is another tax liability that is paid to a governing body for the sales of certain goods and services. Oftentimes, laws allow the seller to collect funds for the tax from the customer at the point of purchase. The amount of this liability is then reduced to its present value to derive a company’s pension obligation. This amount is compared to the current funding of a plan to determine the additional funding that is needed. This examination is of great use in the aspect of determining a company’s future payout obligations.

accounting period


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